A week ago, on October 1st, fans marked the 30th anniversary of the Epcot Center classic, Horizons. A cursory peek at the internet, or a Twitter search for the hashtag #Horizons30, would reveal that I’m not the only one who regards Horizons as the greatest ride ever created for a Disney theme park. Horizons was by far my favorite ride as a kid, and nothing that has come since has surpassed it in my esteem. It’s a ride that really had something to say, and presented an unironic view of a type of future that we, as a society, seem to have completely abandoned since the 1980s. Horizons was a masterpiece, and was crammed full of highly memorable moments which made quite an impression on young minds.
What’s most amazing is that nearly 15 years after its closure, Horizons seems as popular as ever. After years of fans creating their own Horizons t-shirts, Disney has occasionally dabbled in Horizons logo merchandise in recent years to great success. There’s even a virtual re-creation of the ride in the works, by someone who never even had the chance to see the original. So great looms the legend of this attraction, that it’s earned an entire generation of fans which never even saw it in person, and simply know it from internet videos and other retrospectives.
There’s very little to say about Horizons that hasn’t been said already; if I haven’t made myself clear so far, I miss it terribly. It represents an outlook and a style of presentation that’s sorely missing these days.
You can find all of my previous Progress City articles about Horizons here, including a detailed look at the attraction from 1983. I also wrote a series of brief stories for D23 last week, including some rare photos of the pavilion under construction. The stories include: